Sunday, October 18, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Joshua 1:1-9
Lal Varghese, Esq.,
MTC Farmers Branch, Dallas
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, 2 “My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites.
The book of Joshua is actually a continuation of the book of Deuteronomy.  Moses was leading Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land under the guidance of the Lord. The Lord was closely following them by providing instructions, day by day, during their journey through the wilderness. During the course of about 40 years of tiring journey through the desert, their leader Moses, appointed by God, became old and died (Joshua 1:1). Now the Lord is calling upon Joshua, the next in command, to lead the people across the Jordan into the Promised Land.


The Lord is reminding Joshua and his people to reaffirm their covenant with God and get ready to face the challenges ahead of them. Here in these verses, God offers encouragement to Joshua, reminding him of the important principles, which would be essential for the success of his commission (Joshua 1:1-9). They have, many a time, failed to obey the commands of God and even doubted His ability to give the people the Promised Land. They questioned Moses’ motives and leadership several times and they wished they had stayed in Egypt rather than endure the suffering in the wilderness.


Probably, Joshua may have been reluctant to take the challenge as a leader. He might have seen and observed what people are talking and murmuring about Moses and questioning the ability of the Lord to lead them into the Promised Land. He might have also seen the struggles Moses was going through during  the entire journey from Egypt to Promised Land. Joshua was one of only two men of the older generation of Israelites still alive forty years after Israel's departure from Egypt (Num 14:29-30; Deut 1:34-38). During those forty years he might have gained much valuable experience as Moses' assistant in spite of all the difficulties Moses faced throughout the journey.

Here, God anoints and encourages Joshua as the leader of the people of Israel. These verses are just like an instruction manual in order for Joshua to succeed and to lead the Israelites to  the Promised Land. Leadership is also a servanthood ministry and it is  by obeying that one becomes a leader. We are the anointed people of Lord and He has planted us in the places where we are to continue his mission in this world. We are also delivered from the bondage of sin by the sacrifice of Jesus and thus we have become the servants of God.
These verses also provide valuable instruction for God's people throughout the ages to continue their faith journey. They remind us that God has delivered us from the bondage of sin and freed us and made us His servants. He has given us the gift of salvation and eternal life with Him and assigned a mission for us to accomplish, providing us with experiences that will help us carry out our roles, as His servants and leaders, to be part of that mission. In our faith journey also, we will have several "Jordans" to cross. Since God has promised to be with us, we can walk across those Jordans with courage and fulfill His mission in this world, so that His name will be glorified.


Dear Lord, You have called us to be Your servants to do our part of Your mission in the places where we have been planted. Enable us to fulfill Your mission without drifting away from Your paths and instructions. Amen

“Serving others prepares you to lead others.” Jim George